13 November 2023
Did you vote in your local elections last week? I hope so. If you need a reminder of how important that is, consider this: at the end of election day, the result of my Town Supervisor race was a difference of only one vote (final results will be determined by absentee ballots and a recount sometime this week).
There’s another way you can vote that happens the other 364 days that are NOT election day. It’s with your fork. Every time you make a food choice - to purchase, consume or discard - you are using your power as a consumer to influence our food system.
In the years 2000 to 2021, the organic industry exploded from $18 billion to $133 billion, mainly driven by consumer demand. And you just have to take a look at the non-dairy alternatives in the milk aisle to see how dairy-free demands have sparked innovation in that area.
A recent law passed in Italy to ban “synthetic foods” (i.e. cultured meat) now stands in limbo as it is not expected to pass scrutiny in the European Parliament. In the US, battles have been fought by the beef and dairy industries to prevent the use of words like “dairy” and “meat” in vegan foods (they claim it confuses customers).
I'm not yet sure where I stand on the cultured food issue, but, regarding US food labeling, I’m fairly sure consumers know it’s NOT really dairy or meat (that’s probably why they’re buying it). As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I can also confirm that many people don’t understand the nutritional value of most foods, be they animal- or plant-based!
We don’t really know much about the long-term impacts of foods made with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), yet consumer groups succeeded in getting manufacturers to use the “no GMO’s” label that guides many purchases. We do know that a diet high in ultra processed foods has significant negative health implications, and nobody’s calling that out on the label!
So…would you like to join me in this daily vote to protect healthy food, decelerate climate change, improve public health and create a system that makes these choices accessible to all? That’s what you’re doing when you choose a whole food plant-based meal, support regenerative farms or eat chickpeas! Most importantly, you'll feel better and live longer.
I'm here to help - reach out with questions and requests.
Tell me how you’re voting with your fork - every action counts!